Deion Sanders just proved why some major college should hire him now.
As in right now.
Deion Sanders didn't just flip the No. 1 player in the country from a commitment to Florida State to attend Jackson State — a historically black college with decidedly fewer football resources than just about any Division I college program and far less than any of the programs he could have picked from.
With college football's new transfer portal, Sanders can become the Pied Piper of talent, leading Travis Hunter and any other top player who signs with him to go just about anywhere in the country.
Why Schools Should Hire Deion Sanders ASAP
And that makes Hunter worth a pot of gold to both himself and Sanders.
If you're Auburn, which just went 6-6, or Tennessee or South Carolina or even, dare we say, Florida State, you might be wise to hire Sanders. You likely get a package deal of Sanders and Hunter, a cornerback/wide receiver who has been called a "generational talent" and has been compared to the likes of Charles Woodson and, dare we say, Sanders as a player.
The decision by Hunter is one of the most intriguing in the early history of the transfer portal age of college football and the era of Name, Image and Likeness. In essence, Hunter is still free to go anywhere. What he has done is tell the football world, "I want to be coached by Deion."
While some people still have doubts about Sanders as a coach, he has made huge strides in a short time. He led Jackson State to an 11-1 record in his second year, not including the loss to South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl. He has excellent talent at his level and now has Hunter, who proves that significant players want to play for him. Yes, it's still easy to see him getting bored of the grind of being a head coach, especially after his son and starting quarterback Shedeur is done playing at Jackson State.
Shedeur is coming off a season in which he not only led Jackson State to a great season, he was named the winner of the Jerry Rice Award, the top award for players in the Football Championship Subdivision.
How "Coach Prime" is Changing College Football
At the same time, Sanders has shown that he can do the most essential thing for college head coaches: recruit star players. It is no secret that most Division I coaches spend a lot more time running programs than coaching Xs and Os. That means placating alums and dealing with administrators. It means traveling the country in search of star players.
Add the fact that Sanders is one of the savviest negotiators in football history and you have the potential for Sanders to dominate the college landscape.
Now, Sanders has loudly said on Friday that Hunter hasn't been paid by anyone involved with Jackson State or by any of the businesses he is involved with. Not yet, at least.
Be sure to spread the truth like you spread the lies?
(To whom it may concern) pic.twitter.com/mKJGPacBa7
— Tiger Talk with the 1400 Klub - The Podcast (@TigerTalk1400) December 16, 2021
Sanders knows that there is plenty of money available to Hunter when he ends up in a major program. Sanders knows that there is more money available to him at a larger program. Moreover, Sanders has the business contacts to make truckloads of cash for himself and the players he brings in. If you think what Texas did last week in making sure every offensive lineman received six-figure NIL payouts, wait until you get a load of what Sanders will do.
This is a guy who has parlayed two years of coaching at Jackson State into being referred to as "Coach Prime" by Nick Saban in an Aflac ad. In the wide-open world that is college sports, Sanders is perfectly primed (pardon the pun) to seize a significant slice of the landscape.
The fact that he convinced Hunter to play for him is a sign of Sanders' genius. It is only the beginning and some college would be wise to get in on the ground floor.
There will, of course, be plenty of doubters. Even Florida State has yet to learn the power of Sanders, their greatest football alum and greatest self-promoter. The Seminoles inexplicably extended the contract of coach Mike Norvell after for an additional year despite the fact he went 8-13 in his first two seasons. That happened three days before Sanders landed Hunter, stealing him away from a commitment to FSU.
If you think that was somehow happenchance, you don't know Sanders. This is a man who once orchestrated playing both professional baseball and football in the same day, turning the event into national news. This is a man who signed with the 49ers one year as a free agent, led them to a Super Bowl victory, and then went to Dallas and did the same with the Cowboys.
He made it seem like he was the personal power broker of the NFL for that stretch of time. He turned the ultimate team game into his own drama. If you think he can't do the same thing with college football, you just don't get it.
Better yet, if you think a guy like Norvell or new University of Florida coach Billy Napier has a chance to land a player who Sanders wants, you really don't get it.
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